PROSSER, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For Washington State-based Zirkle Fruit, the decision to pursue a suite of energy efficiency projects was equal parts common sense and good citizenship. Reducing energy use by almost 3.5 million kilowatt hours a year saves them $185,000 a year in energy costs and provides enough energy savings to power nearly 300 Northwest homes. The two-year return made the investment too hard to pass up.
“The improvements made to the facility over the last couple of years will ensure we continue to pack some of the world’s best organic apples,” the company’s Operations Manager Dave Copeland said at an event held Wednesday, Nov. 14 to recognize the company’s 35% reduction in energy consumption.
In recognition of Zirkle Fruit’s eco-friendly achievements, Copeland and other company representatives hosted a tour of the newly upgraded Prosser facility and received a ceremonial check representing $880,000 in incentives that were provided by Benton Public Utility District (PUD) to support their energy efficiency investments. Those in attendance included officials from Benton PUD and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)—the two energy suppliers that provided project funding and support through BPA’s Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) program—as well as representatives from the local government and other community organizations.
“Industrial facilities are probably the biggest power users within our utility service area,” said Boyd Wilson, BPA’s Energy Efficiency Representative. “And so this unique position means that energy efficiency projects can deliver significant benefits to both the industrial facility and the region. Industrial energy efficiency provides significant energy savings, fosters job creation and improves the region’s economic competitiveness.”
Zirkle Fruit’s staggering savings—nearly 3.5 million kilowatt-hours per year—resulted from a series of facility upgrades, including the installation of higher performing ammonia compressors to replace inefficient Freon compressors and variable frequency drives on evaporator and condenser fans to improve part-load efficiency. System pressures were reduced through the use of new control valves; and control atmosphere system software was upgraded, which increased control and automation of the company’s evaporators, condensers and compressors.
Read more about the Zirkle Fruit’s energy efficiency efforts in the following case study: http://www.bpa.gov/energy/n/industrial/pdf/ESI_CS_ZirkleFruit_1_6.pdf.
About BPA ESI
BPA’s ESI program works with the Northwest’s industrial facilities through their serving utility to deliver cost-effective energy savings across a wide variety of industrial markets. ESI provides technical expertise and resources to address energy efficiency opportunities that meet varying industry needs and company budget levels. Learn more at www.energysmartindustrial.com.
About Benton PUD
Benton PUD serves 47,000 customers in Kennewick, Finley, Benton City, Prosser and the surrounding areas. For more information, go to www.bentonpud.org.